ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lamb: The Best Kept Secret On American Tables

Updated on May 31, 2010

Although Easter and Passover don't always overlap date-wise, they do overlap meal-wise. Lamb is a food deeply rooted in many Mediterranean traditions, and is often found on the holiday tables of both Christians and Jews in the Old World. However, lamb has not travelled well and most Americans paradoxically shun it.

Although it is lamb's Mediterranean roots that make it a staple of spring holidays, the lamb capital of today's world is undoubtedly New Zealand, where the sheep outnumber the people by more than 100 to 1. It's a good thing they aren't too bright (the sheep, that is), or they would have taken over long ago - and undoubtedly cut off lamb exports.

Whether it's from New Zealand or Wyoming, a lamb is technically a sheep that's less than a year old. Most of what we eat, however, is from animals much younger than that, usually as young as four months. The older the lamb is, the stronger the taste, and Americans prefer their lamb mild. Once a lamb reaches one year of age it's termed a hogget, and after two years of age, it's now mutton. You need a truly strong stomach and a penchant for acquiring tastes to love mutton. To most Americans, it tastes sheepy, gamey, and revolting.

While travelling in Scotland, I sat down to dinner in a little town outside Inverness and decided to try the Scotch Pie. I'd had it before in Edinburgh as well as many places outside of Scotland, and found it to be very mild and tasty with a delectable lamb savor. What I had not realized was that in the Highlands, the Scotch Pie is made from mutton rather than lamb. I heartily dug in, and as soon as that sheep flavor hit my tastebuds, I couldn't help but spit it back into the dish. The waiter was not amused.Much of what you find in butcher shops and supermarkets are the familiar cuts: rack, leg, chops, and shanks. But don't limit yourself to just those. Sometimes the more prosaic forms of lamb, like stew meat, lamb neck, and ground lamb, are easier to incorporate into your everyday cooking.

  • Take your cue from lamb's Indian and Mediterranean roots, and think about combining it with traditional flavors of those areas - eggplant, olives, feta cheese, spinach, mint, yogurt, curry, couscous, pine nuts, tomatoes, lentils, rosemary, and, of course, garlic.
  • Substitute lamb for beef in your favorite stew or casserole.
  • Make lamb stock by simmering lamb neck, onions, carrots, peppercorns, and a bay leaf in water. Use the stock in stews and sauces. (Use caution, though - lamb stock isn't neutral the way chicken and beef stock are. It will give a distinctive lamb flavor to whatever it's used in.)
  • To make shish kebab, use lean lamb cubes with cherry tomatoes, mushroom caps and red bell pepper.
  • Trade ground or diced lamb for beef or sausage in chili or spaghetti sauce.
  • Make a lasagna with ground lamb, feta cheese, and tomato sauce seasoned with rosemary.
  • Combine ground lamb with chopped onion, a dash of cayenne pepper, and some fresh mint for grilled or broiled lambburgers.
  • Try a lamb barley soup, with a lamb-stock base and plenty of mushrooms and carrots.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)